The Rare Virtues of Kindness and Truth

“What is desirable in a man is his kindness,
And it is better to be a poor man than a liar.”

Proverbs 19:22

Reading this morning…

I stopped and considered the opposites of these “delights” and it troubles me how our current Western Culture value system has upended and forcibly cast away these character qualities. We honor the most abrasive abusers by supporting their candidacy for POTUS. This is also most vividly illustrated in the running abusive treatment of the recipients of wrath by authoritarian figures in all social, political and spiritual arenas.

Politicians abuse their positions to advance their personal security and power base by increasing the size of their coffers. The media mocks humility and gentleness and glamorizes the absurd. The church is filled with incompetent, self-seeking frauds in leadership positions whose preparation and labor over the Word consists of opening a sermon outline book a day or two before, and filling in the space between the various suggested points by insertion of interesting anecdotal commentary. A walk with God is unknown to them. I suppose too because I have been the recipient of wrath by pastoral abuse this is especially a salient and painful point with me.

A kind man does not seek his own, but understands the profit of considering others more important. I wonder how are we doing on that? Interesting how the abuser often has the abused Tee as one who has known the sting of rejection… thus the call to mortifying the deeds of the flesh are most relevant in the vigilance of God’s man entrusted with stewardship authority. Notice it is not innate authority, it is granted by the King. How desperately we need recall to put off before putting on as this is the clear, required Biblical principle. 

Where is a kind man? Where is a man of truth? Where is the Psalm 15 man? In my experience when one seeks tenderness to those in need and when one gives to those who lack there can on occasion be a general uprising of the Philistines. People are condemned by acts of kindness afforded the needy in their presence, and hate its overtures for then the Spirit and conscience afflicts the rude, selfish man. If it wasn’t Pastor’s idea then expect it to be torpedoed by the man who has an agenda. 

God help me to put on kindness as Christ was kind. God, may the poverty of the Lord Jesus Christ enrich me with heavenly grace to value and pursue what is esteemed by heaven, not that which is detestable. 

Proverbs 3:3-4 (NASB) 
Do not let kindness and truth leave you; 
Bind them around your neck, 
Write them on the tablet of your heart. 
So you will find favor and good repute 
In the sight of God and man. 

Dancing from Sin to Joy

“O satisfy us in the morning with Your lovingkindness, 
That we may sing for joy and be glad all our days.
Make us glad according to the days You have afflicted us,
And the years we have seen evil.”
Psalms 90:14-15 (NASB)

The Psalmist indicates there exists an increased capacity for the children of God to know joy and gladness proportional to the degree of depravity which they have experienced. We need to understand that evil originates not only from our own personal cultivation, but also from the afflictions dumped upon us by the boneheads of the world, and unfortunately the church. Once the process is recognized we also experience God engage us with the law of the harvest principle. (Sowing & Reaping) Therein He releases the Kracken of sorts and unleashes the consequential results of doing stupid and coloring outside the lines. Oh glorious day! Did you so naively think God was going to “free-pass” you on that deal from the other day, or year? Grace abounds, yes and SUPER ABOUNDS in the presence of great perverted persistent blasphemy. (Paul always viewed himself as unworthy of being an apostle for his blasphemy, but God drowned his humility with glory and sovereign purpose). This principle is aptly illustrated in the New Testament to Simon the Pharisee by Jesus as the “woman who was a sinner” tended the Lord’s needs by washing His feet. The Lord’s praise of her was bestowed freely for her devotion to the King who was her friend as she demonstrated a penitent life.

Your rank rebellion and persistent failure are observable with devastating clarity by a purposeful glance in the rear view mirror of life. Therein lies the fertilizer that can actually become the rich soil of repentant tribulation whereby one springs heavenward and toward real life hidden with Christ in God. Never disqualify yourself as one who perpetually struggles with sin. Our badge of honor is that we are the walking wounded who have discovered a safer path of submissive obedience by way of Calvary. The call is to the death. One is more likely closer to ἀδόκιμοϛ (disqualification or rejection) for ignorance of sin or indifference to secret sin that remains unchecked rather than staying fitfully engaged in the conflict against nagging weights that we daily strive with. Did you really entertain the notion that sin’s aggravation would cease this side of glory? Sinless perfection in the flesh is blind presumption in the heart.

Joy in Jesus, quite frankly, is expanded to potentially greater horizons by the more profound pedigree of sinfulness we display. Pedigree implies past to me. History. From whence did we arise by grace? Grace multiplied by great sin is no excuse to continue frolicking with our innate pagan desires. They must perish! He calls us to glory not earthy or fleshy depravity. Glory embraces joy in pleasure rightly embraced, openly and in His presence alone. Now He is the glorious Savior of sinners and He is called Jesus, for such He came “to save His people from their sin.” Salvation from sin is not simply a satisfaction of guilt but a lifeline of rescue to each of us without exception from the power and pollution of sin. The old nonsense of, “Yeah, but I am different, I can’t escape my love of sin” is BravoSierra. It is a logical fallacy to think we can live for self if we call upon Christ as Lord. This is a twisted form of cross-less Christianity. 

If you have years of evil that are legitimately accredited to your transcript of sin, HOPE in GOD, for greater grace abounds toward you and upon you in Him. “Those who are forgiven much love much.” The morning of joy and sunlight celebration only come as the darkness of night flees His presence and glory. We celebrate the Son’s coming, not the persistence of darkness. None of us arrive at the wicket gate nor the gates of the Cellestial City unscathed. If He bore in His body the marks of His passion how can we differ?

Dance for Jesus today, this day! We have cause to hope, for grace is greater than all our sin! Don’t be blindly ignorant as the context of this Psalm speaks of a stiff-hearted, rebellious and unrepentant generation of sinners content to reject the call of God. God is not opposed to bumping off the rebellious as He did that generation in the wilderness wanderings. I guess He is patient toward me and you, though. We are still here… Let’s not presume upon His grace. If His kindness leads to repentance, where might our rejection of His kindness lead? He call us. He calls you. He calls me to a better more stable ground of no condemnation in the Son. Walk that way this day… by faith that sees the One who loves us so. 

Joy in Loving God and Loving Stuff… 

Luke 16:15 (NASB)And He said to them, “You are those who justify yourselves in the sight of men, but God knows your hearts; for that which is highly esteemed among men is detestable in the sight of God.”


I think it important to distinguish between essential evil and idolatry. It is uncommon for a “thing” (anything) to touch and embrace essential evil or evil incarnate. Abominations are evil. We know they exist, and maybe we struggle with a few or more… By the contrary and confusing standard of stupid legalism Asceticism is deceptive and attracts the flesh in a perverse religious way as it enhances the illusion of righteousness… self-righteousness. That’s worth a lot in the “wood, hay, stubble” category. Stuff is generally neither an abomination in origin or essence. Stay with me please.

“All things are lawful to me but I will not be mastered by anything. All things are lawful… not all are profitable…not all edify…” (1 Corth 10) Yet, something greater is at stake. There is a greater governing principle a serious-minded Christ-follower must be confronted by. The Pharisee of all ages (times) refuses the greater principle as his preference is pleasure over glory to God. 

Idolatry is that which catapults a thing or thought to supersede beyond its boundary and into the arena of interference with foundational love for God by a subtle or overt attachment to the hidden heart. All such encumbering weights corrupt worship and are therefore detestable in God’s sight. Everything is on the table in such cases. Everything. Anything can be a help or hinderance. Take this iPhone for example…

The really strange thing is that all (most) things morphed to the detestable idol category in God’s eyes are okay and often essential things in their proper sphere. They certainly are permissible when used and even loved in proper context. God has provided to us all things in their proper place. He is the Giver of every good and perfect gift from above. (Spend time with the Preacher in Ecclesiastes for clarity… or confusion.)

Jack speaks to this in the Screwtape Letters.

Screwtape to Wormwood:

“Never forget that when we are dealing with any pleasure in its healthy and normal and satisfying form, we are, in a sense, on the Enemy’s ground. I know we have won many a soul through pleasure. All the same, it is His invention, not ours. He made all the pleasures: all our research so far has not enabled us to produce one. All we can do is to encourage the humans to take pleasures which our Enemy has produced, at times, or in ways, or in degrees, which He has forbidden. Hence we always try to work away from the natural condition of any pleasure to that in which it is least natural, least redolent of its Maker, and least pleasurable.” 


1 Corinthians 10:31 (NASB)

“Whether, then, you eat or drink or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God.”

  Herein lies not only a safety net but a driving principle of glory to a higher calling to Another’s standard and perspective that ensures joy without condemnation. 

We need never neglect the cross as the instrument of death that Jesus embraced for us and that He subsequently calls us to daily carry with Him.

“The most deeply compelled action is also the freest action.” CS Lewis on coming to Christ

One of the last interviews of CS Lewis. Here is his assessment  of his coming to faith in Christ. It seems the Billy Graham staff member desperately wanted Jack to validate the altar call, decision-based methodology of the Graham team. This article is contained in “God in the Dock”, a book worthy of your time. 


Wirt: In your book Surprised by Joy you remark that you were brought into the faith kicking and struggling and resentful, with eyes darting in every direction looking for an escape. You suggest that you were compelled, as it were, to become a Christian. Do you feel that you made a decision at the time of your conversion?

Lewis: “I would not put it that way. What I wrote in Surprised by Joy was that ‘before God closed in on me, I was offered what now appears a moment of wholly free choice.’ But I feel my decision was not so important. I was the object rather than the subject in this affair. I was decided upon. I was glad afterwards at the way it came out, but at the moment what I heard was God saying, ‘Put down your gun and we’ll talk.’”

Wirt: That sounds to me as if you came to a very definite point of decision.

Lewis: “Well, I would say that the most deeply compelled action is also the freest action. By that I mean, no part of you is outside the action. It is a paradox. I expressed it in Surprised by Joy by saying that I chose, yet it really did not seem possible to do the opposite.”

A Faithful Mother

“…he will be filled with the Holy Spirit while yet in his mother’s womb.”Luke 1

John in utero heard only silence from dad. Unfortunately this can often be baby’s experience today. His mother, Elizabeth was the primary, if not the sole instructor who taught John truth and righteousness before birth. The design of this teaching was not simply adequate, it proved complete and theologically sound to make John wise unto salvation even before his birth; perhaps this is original resident theology! Do not minimize faithful teaching of truth for God does many miracles where faith and truth abide. 

I have no doubt that Zach became a man much engaged in secret silent prayer for wife and son. His hands weren’t tied, but his tongue was. Dads we can also speak much but of no consequence. What are we known to speak of most fervently? Does our speech touch eternity and fill the unborn with the Spirit? Do we believe God who acts in time space history?

Moms! Read and sing to your unborn child, and may he or she leap for joy as the Spirit moves and breathes upon the little one! John changed the world in large part from the role his spiritually keen mother played. “How can it be that the Mother of my Lord has come?” Elizabeth was a woman spiritually on key. 

Moms, never underestimate your powers of instructive influence upon the son(s) God gives you. Remember Solomon recalls instruction of his mother in many places in the Proverbs.

Remember those in Prison as though with Them… A Report of Sorts with an Appeal for Prayer 

#CCC Ministry last PM

Charlie or C Pod

Series: Proverbs 6 on The 7 Abominations that God Hates

Topic: “Feet that Run Rapidly to Evil”

Jesus: He is the antithesis of what God hates…

Jesus is the quintessential fulfillment of the love of God and the life of God as He was and is God Personified. Jesus walked always and only in righteousness.
Of course the warning of feet entering the evil path has the previous proverb precursor of “A Heart that Devises Wicked Plans” which we discussed last week. Our feet walk toward our heart’s desire, thus the charge to keep it with diligence. Thus the need for God to overthrow our ungodly heart of stone and make us to walk with new heart in His way. He makes us to do this! (Ezekiel 36: “I will put my Spirit within you and CAUSE you to walk in My path…”)

Please #Pray for these men. I long to see Christ open their eyes and Christ to finally be formed in them. We walked through Proverbs 7, (one of the saddest chapters in the whole Bible), using the terrible example of the naive young man whose feet led him to a wild night in the bed of the harlot as she opened the door for him to enter hell. The arrow piercing into the young man’s liver (as toxins build and the body slowly poisons itself or he bleeds to death) is a most vivid and eye opening illustration of the wise Father’s counsel to His son. What a vivid warning of sin’s deadly nature. It was pointed and powerful, and the Word rocked us all back upon our heels as the Spirit moved. I feel many are near the Kingdom as interest seems heightened and some alarm over their spiritual poverty seems manifest. The Spirit is such a gentle Dove, and I long to not grieve Him. May He be pleased to appear in cloven tongues of Fire and convict of sin and righteousness and judgment to come.

Fly to Christ with those feet! Get off the path to death and destruction. Find the Way to life in the Author of life!

So pray as God prompts. It’s not some strange doctrine I preach. It is the gospel of grace that tells the love story of the Friend of sinners. He came for these guys who have been routed in life by habitual life choices of sin. Jesus sets the captive free! That’s the good news that fixes the bad news of our condition. 

Hebrews 13:3

“Remember the prisoners, as though in prison with them, and those who are ill-treated, since you yourselves also are in the body.”

The Enigmatic Case of the Wandering Smoke Alarm


Hands down! A “Chirp-Chirp” is infinitely better than “Fire Fire!” but both are irritating in their own way.

“Now where did I put that durn smoke alarm this time?”

The intruder was most uninvited and unwelcome. My ordinary mundane blessed silence of predawn beauty was shattered this very morning with the incessant and equally annoying “chirp chirp” agonal cries of a dying smoke alarm battery that demanded my undivided attention. It soon began to rival fingers screeching over a chalkboard with an echo of reverberation that seemed eerily mobile too. It was all over and random in its stealthy snobbery. What the heck? It became so elusive that I actually began to have visions of the movie #TotalRecall and entertained possibilities of a gigantic rat of sufficient size to have swallowed the whole annoying thing; said rat now loose and at large as he scurried all about the house. I verified my sidearm at the ready. Affirmative

After an initial failed reconnaissance mission to acquire the target, I wisely chose to brew my coffee to settle my quickly fraying nerves. As the percolator perked in delightful joy I sulked in ongoing aggravation. I began anew my fruitless search for the culprit alarm as I actually ran reconnaissance into four rooms and two hallways only to stand the mandatory 60 or so seconds as I impatiently waited for the familiar but elusive beeps. Somewhere else! (I subconsciously pondered 4-lettered words.) This “Somewhere” began to giveaway to other dormant fears… maybe it, or God forbid, maybe I, am trapped in a sort of Stephen King novel experience of alternate universes. Where’s the door?!?!

The vision of the monster rat gnawed away again but eventually broke through to another troubling speculation that perhaps a disgruntled worker from Comcast or maybe the AC company had maliciously planted a failing smoke alarm somewhere in my 3500 foot attic and underneath 2 feet of fiberglass insulation some months back as he was duty-bound to crawl in my attic. That didn’t make sense though so I considered perhaps the previous owner had legitimately jerry-rigged a smoke alarm overhead, whose time had now come. This too seem too bizarre. It is so challenging to remain sanctified in times such as these, when fears and imaginations converge in something akin to the Bermuda Triangle, all at 3 a.m. in the morning. In betwixt my ears. 

The coffee brewed and sighed its completion so I poured a cup and filled my extra thermos, and scurried outta here to my secret back porch Bethel in search of P&Q. Gnarly disruptions to my morning quiet… Huh! I think not! I discovered once again silence is golden especially when reinforced with a closed door as insurance. The wife is always at locating such things in an effortless fashion anyway. “Let the woman You gave me find it, Lord.” Right. 

My Quiet Time silence was soon invaded by the open door to Bethel as the incessant chirps of Lucifer himself seemed to follow Amy and alas, they found me once again. Conversation and morning kiss complete, we then exchange frustrations of our failure to locate the chirping source. I am especially alarmed as perhaps for only the 2nd time in our recorded marital bliss, the wife has failed to find and fix the problem; most often said problems are of my own devices and design. Nevertheless disregarding the current failure that is still an arguably impressive record. We discussed contingency plans and were ultimately unpersuaded by any options other than eventually the battery will die of old age, so therein our hope lay. Yeah!

Back to reading and prayer. But alas, silence and joy must always eventually end, so I trudge downward off my personal “Mount of Transfiguration” and find myself confronted with chirps again now beginning the drone into patterns that might imitate demonic screeches of a dying demon and not a smoke alert. “Lord we tried to cast out the batteries but we couldn’t find them. Need a little help here, Lord!” Back onto chairs and step ladders I go, and again both wife and I are transfixed by the mobile nature of the chirps that come from nowhere but everywhere all at once. If the wife with her bat-like ears stands baffled as to the location, I knew I was in big trouble with my AARP qualified ears that had for years been crying out for Miracle Ear intervention. I refuse. What’s that you say?

We have a house guest at present and I even begin to wonder if this whole thing is some sort of an obnoxious February 1st February Fool Day joke that they celebrate in Georgia or something. That really did not add up either since she too likely would have disturbed by the omnipresent sound throughout the night. Then the wife said in response to my trial balloon attic theory, it sounds like it may be in here and on the new book shelves, but I am the one who arranged books and artifacts on them, so I know there is no smoke alarm there. 


Somewhere upon my mind’s back burner I vaguely recall an extra alarm with no hanger for it for walk installation. As a surgeon calling for scalpel I called for the stool. Rising up, up and away, and guess what? There hidden away on the top shelf behind a silent figurine Rabbit who seemed to smiled stupidly in provocation lay the culprit. Double OOPS!

So I say in a brilliant recovery attempt, “Well it’s in a good spot, up high and out of sight and all.” Wife was both unconvinced and irritated. I felt somewhat like David as Nathan pointed a finger in his face as he simply stated, “You’re the man!” After a welcomed change of the battery the CO-Smoke alarm combo gave one last, loud, long satisfied chirp before returning to its baseline silence we had searched for all this early morning.  

The one lost sheep has been found and all heaven rejoices more over it than over the ninety and nine who need no rescue.